‘Reconcile differences’ before DRC election

A Congolese bishop has expressed concerns that unless President Joseph Kabila’s government and opposition parties can reconcile their differences, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s upcoming elections will be marred by violence.

Kasongo’s Bishop Placide Lubamba Ndjibu of Kasongo said sharp political differences remain between Kabila and his opponents, notably his one-time ally Moise Katumbi, the former governor of the copper-producing Katanga province, and that the date of the election appears to be the major sticking point between the two.

With the president resisting international pressure to step down by the end of the year as Congo’s constitution requires, Dr Ndjibu said “the government has already expressed some probability of rescheduling the elections, while the opposition political parties are against the move”, adding that many commentators believe President Kabila is considering changing the constitution to permit him to run for a third term.


Abortion cost law before US court

Two Catholic dioceses have joined other groups in filing a lawsuit against a branch of the New York state government and several health insurance companies which have made religious and other employers cover the cost of abortions for their employees.

The New York State Department of Financial Services has introduced mandates that will force religious and other employers to pay for abortions in employee health plans.

The Albany and Ogdensburg dioceses, along with Catholic Charities’ agencies and other groups, charged that the requirements were unconstitutional, representing “an invidious governmental coercion of religious institutions, employers and individuals, and, if unchecked, will result in further dangerous incursions on religious freedom”.